Fox stays on top as cable networks see third quarter prime-time ratings drop
Ratings in prime time were down across cable news over the summer, but Fox News remained the top dog in the race for viewers.
Fox averaged 2.1 million viewers in prime time during the third quarter of 2022, down 8 percent from the third quarter of 2021, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
MSNBC, meanwhile, garnered an average of 1.2 million viewers in prime time, and CNN earned an average of 717,000, down 13 percent from the same period last year.
In total day viewers, Fox averaged 1.4 million, up 3 percent, while MSNBC earned 783,000, up 6 percent from the third quarter of 2021. CNN was down 7 percent in total day viewers compared to the same period last year.
Fox was home to all of the top five programs in cable news during the third quarter of 2022, with daytime talk show “The Five” earning the No. 1 spot with an average of 3.2 million viewers, edging out Tucker Carlson’s prime-time program, which garnered 3.1 million over the same time span.
Earlier this summer, Fox notched a big win in late night when host Greg Gutfeld posted his best week of ratings ever in August, beating out the major broadcast networks following the blockbuster news of the FBI’s search at former President Trump’s estate in Florida.
MSNBC and CNN have also made changes to their prime-time lineup this year. MSNBC hired pundit Alex Wagner to host a show at 9 p.m. four days a week as star host Rachel Maddow took a step back from cable. CNN announced this month it would move prime-time host Don Lemon to its new morning program, which is expected to launch next month.